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Two days before my open heart surgery, my Christian neighbor told me that she had received confirmation from God in her prayers that He would extend my life because:  "He knows you will tell everyone about it!"  And to that mission I have tried to be faithful…from the time I awoke from surgery to the present day.   My wife and I have used my "heart story" to witness to medical personnel and even waiters and waitresses in restaurants as well as many others that God brings across our paths each day.  Truly God has not only given me a "new song" but a whole new mission field.  And so my new life focus is reflected by Ps. 40:3,10 which I feel was written just for this time in my life:

"He (God) has given me a new song to sing, 
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done
And be astounded.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
I have not kept this good news
Hidden in my heart; I have talked about Your
faithfulness and saving power.  I have told
everyone..Of Your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Life Stories

A Shocking Announcement

Sent:  Saturday, October 19, 2002

Subject:  Announcement to Business Associates about My Heart Bypass Surgery

Dear Region Managers, Sales Associates, and Janelle:

Well, I have bad news and good news!  The bad news is that I have to have open heart bypass surgery on Monday.  I know it's hard to believe, and even the Cardiac doctor was almost speechless when he saw the results of my heart catherization on Friday.  But the good news is that this was discovered in time so something can be done.

 I am very thankful, as my recent physical showed that I am in excellent health, and my blood profile has never been better!  In fact, with my low cholesterol and low blood pressure, I had not one cardiac "red flag" indicator.  It is a "miracle" of major proportions that my primary care physician ordered a treadmill stress test, as there were no indicators that would have justified it.  I believe as do others that this was a direct divine intervention that prompted him to do this!  And this same doctor was also smart enough to find a small "squiggle" from the treadmill printout that indicated something could be amiss.  And right he was…for the heart catherization revealed that all three of my main heart arteries are blocked…so blocked (even down to 99%!) that the Cardiac doctor said that I was heading for a heart attack that would, no doubt, have been fatal. 

Several nurses that attended me on Friday after looking at a diagram of my blockages said "Larry, you are one lucky guy…Someone is looking out for you!"   I do feel so blessed, and I give thanks to God for giving me a new lease on life.  The funny thing is that those attending me on Friday said that everyone who goes thru this feels so much better and has much more energy…but I don't have any idea how I could feel any better, as I have never felt better in my life!  I have never had any chest pains or discomfort, and, in fact, several weekends ago, I dug up several Aspen tress in my yard with no difficulty whatsoever.  On the last treadmill test the specialists conducting the test reported that from an endurance and heart rate standpoint, I performed 55% better than most men even much younger than myself!  Go figure…

Two things we can learn from this:  First, never assume you are in good health just because you feel great and your physicals are without incident.   At some point, make sure your doctor orders a treadmill stress test, so you can find out what EKG's and blood profiles do not.  And second, live each day as though it could be your last.  Make your peace with God and your family and loved ones, and tell them daily that you love and appreciate them!  You may feel great and just complete the best physical of your life, but you have no assurance that you will live to face tomorrow!

I will check into Swedish on Monday at 10:30 a.m. and my surgery will begin at 1:00.  However, you pray or remember those going thru difficult times, I will appreciate your thinking of my family at that time.  I will have no clue as to what is going on, but for Marilyn, the children, and my extended family, it will be a difficult time.  I am scheduled to be out and into intensive care by 5:00.  Supposedly, I should have the "Frankenstein" look which should look real stylish for Halloween!  I would love to have a picture as a Halloween prop, but I don't think I will be able to convince anyone in my family to take a pix!

Supposedly I will be out in 3 -4 days and am told I will be able to get out of the house by the second week.   Marilyn has promised to bring me out for several hours to see you and check in during weeks 3 and 4, and hopefully I can get back to a more full schedule after week 4.  

As you know, I love being "in the trenches" and on the "firing line" with you, so this will be the most difficult part of my recuperation…staying home.  But I plan to commit what has happened to me over the past several days to print, and I would also like to complete a book of short inspirational writings that I began last year but have never had time to complete.  They are a series of short commentaries to my children and cover a wide range of topics.  

I am so very proud of each of you and the records that you are setting almost daily.  You will do just great during my absence, and I will be proudly watching your progress  via email and Royal 4 while I am away.

I will send a separate email with a schedule for operation of the department during my absence. 

I appreciate you and look forward to the day when I can again be "back in the saddle."  Have a good October finish, and give November your very best effort!   You don't have to "give 'em away while the boss is away"…but be aggressive, tear up the competition, and "leave no survivors"!

My love and best wishes,




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